In a move that some are praising as a major victory against the powerful weapons lobby, President Barack Obama was able to cut out several expensive programs, thus cutting down on defense spending, in the new $680 billion dollar military bill he signed Wednesday. However, before we get too excited, let’s be clear here: That’s still $680 billion, after all. –KA

The New York Times:

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said Wednesday that the plan was to threaten a veto over a prominent program — in this case, the F-22 fighter jet — “to show we were willing to expend political capital and could win on something that people thought we could not.”

Once the Senate voted in July to stop buying F-22s, Mr. Emanuel said in an interview, that success “reverberated down” to help sustain billions of dollars of cuts in Army modernization, missile defense and other programs.

Mr. Emanuel said the strategy emerged when the defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, told Mr. Obama they needed to “shake up sacred cows and be seen as taking on fights.”

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